Author Topic: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information  (Read 2002 times)

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« on: February 21, 2019, 02:20:16 AM »
I am aiming to tread lightly and politely here.

We know from previous discussions that, on 18 April 1754, a Shawnee chief visited Shamokin from the Great Island [present-day Lock Haven] and asked Daniel Kliest, the Moravian smith there, "about Brother Albrecht who had stocked his rifle 2 years ago to his complete satisfaction."

Some believe that this Shawnee chief was Paxinosa. I was skeptical, for several reasons--one of which is that Paxinosa was living, during these years, not at the Great Island but at Wyoming [present-day Wilkes-Barre].

It turns out that it is impossible that Paxinosa was the Shawnee chief who visited Shamokin on 18 April 1754 and mentioned that Albrecht had stocked his gun. It is impossible because we now know where Paxinosa was on 18 April 1754: he was in Gnadenhütten [present-day Lehighton]. Recent translations of the Gnadenhütten diary reveal that Paxinosa arrived at Gnadenhütten from Wyoming on 12 April 1754 and remained there, except for an Easter visit to Bethlehem, until 19 April 1754, when he left to return to Wyoming.

So, as the lawyers might say, Paxinosa has an alibi. He can't be in two places at once. He cannot have been the Shawnee chief from the Great Island who recalled that Albrecht had stocked his gun two years before.

So, a new question: who was the Shawnee chief at Great Island in 1754 who had his gun stocked by Albrecht in 1752?



Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Shreckmeister

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3107
  • GGGG Grandpa Schrecengost Gunsmith/Miller
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2019, 02:29:37 AM »
Following
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2019, 02:59:50 AM »
I should add: Paxinosa did visit Bethlehem in summer 1752 as the first of a series of treaty-making sessions between the Shawnees and Nanticokes from Wyoming with the Moravians at Bethlehem. Delegations of Shawnees visited again in 1753 and again in 1754. You can see the Moravian scribe record the presence of Paxinosa, a Shawnee chief, in July 1752 here (last page):

 http://bdhp.moravian.edu/personal_papers/journals/detailed44to53.pdf

So Paxinosa, like many of the other Shawnees who visited at this time, could certainly have had a rifle stocked by Albrecht.

But the Shamokin diary does not lend support to this belief. In fact, the Shamokin diary proves that an entirely different Shawnee chief had his rifle stocked by Albrecht in 1752.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2019, 03:21:56 AM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Robert Wolfe

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 781
  • Great X Grandpa
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2019, 05:05:02 AM »
Hate it when facts get in the way of a good story........     
Research trumps speculation every time.
Robert Wolfe
Northern Indiana

Offline Arcturus

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 362
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2019, 08:16:24 AM »
It's still a pretty good story any way you cut it!   :)  A great piece of documentation has been uncovered here for sure.  What I love about the whole thing is that it definitely shows we are talking about RIFLES in the early 1750s, not as we usually do, (perhaps too) conservatively estimating that most everything is 1770s and later...
Jerry

Offline DaveM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2019, 07:37:21 PM »
Scott, that is very interesting - note that I have no interest in this story for anything but pure history.  From my perspective however I see this actually strengthening ("almost" proving?) the argument that is was paxinosa that stopped at Shamokin.  Because if it is documented that he stayed in Lehighton until April 19th, 1754, that would have had him passing through Shamokin (50 miles west of Lehighton) on the April 19, 1754 on his way to Wyoming, correct?  and the account shows paxinosa in Shamokin on April 18, 1754.  I would think whomever recorded the journals could easily have had his departure (or the date of his visit at Shamokin) off by one or even two days?  What are the odds that any other indian chief would have stopped at Shamokin within one or two days of the date paxinosa physically could have stopped there? 


Anyway, no way to prove what I note, just a different way to interpret the same data, but I also may be interpreting your notes incorrectly!  thanks for your research - this is fascinating!  I wonder if there is a map that showed indian trail routes in that area at the time?  that may help establish paxinosa's route back to Wyoming?

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2019, 08:08:02 PM »
DaveM--thanks for the reply!

The diaries show that Paxinosa was in Gnadenhütten from April 12 to April 19 (except for a short trip to Bethlehem for Easter). The other Shawnee chief is IN Shamokin on April 18. The Moravian ministers recorded these diaries every day (William Henry arrives in Shamokin the next day!). These are long entries that note all the happenings--arrivals, departures, prayers, etc.--on a particular day and it is hard to see how they could have got the date wrong of the Shawnee chief's arrival. And both diarists would have to be off by many days (it took several days to get from Gnadenhütten to Shamokin--at least three maybe four days?)

[There are other reasons that we can know it wasn't Paxinosa--who spoke good English. The chief who shows up in Shamokin apparently couldn't. Also, the Moravians knew Paxinosa and used his name all the time in their records. The Shawnee chief who showed up in Shamokin is less familiar and Kliest doesn't record his name. And, most important, that Shawnee chief was from "Great Island," which Paxinosa wasn't. But these reasons are circumstantial. Knowing that Paxinosa was in Gnadenhütten is a different sort of evidence.)

Wyoming is due north of Gnadenhütten/Lehighton. Shamokin is 50 or 60 or more miles west (and tougher travel).

The Wyoming to Gnadenhütten path was a well-traveled one in the mid 1740s and 1750s. There are maps that show it, with the distances between stopping places and the homes where Moravian missionaries, at least, would stop. I'll try to find an image when I'm home from work and post.



« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 12:52:46 AM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2019, 12:18:16 AM »
DaveM--here is the standard source on "Indian Paths in Pennsylvania" (Paul Wallace). I've highlighted the route from Gnadenhütten to Wyoming (north) and Gnadenhütten to Shamokin (west). As you can see, Shamokin is twice the distance in the wrong direction. One could look up how long it took to get from Gnadenhütten to Shamokin: it often took two days to get from Gnadenhütten to Wyoming, so quite a bit longer than that from Gnadenhütten to Shamokin.

One more thing! Shamokin was the largest, rowdiest Indian town in Pennsylvania--it wasn't a village of converted Indians like Gnadenhütten. All sorts of Indians lived there and all sorts of Indians passed through on a daily basis, some passing through and others to stay a while. Some came to get their guns repaired once the Moravians stationed a smith there in 1747. The Shamokin diary records arrivals of Indians nearly every day ... this Shawnee chief's arrival there doesn't stand out in any particular way.

From 1747-1755, the years that the Moravian smith worked there, the only time Paxinosa visited there was October 1755 as war was starting. As the diarist writes, "very many Indians from all along the Susquehanna gathered in Shamokin" for a conference. Their "friend Paxinosa" made the long trip from Wyoming. Fearing for their lives, the Moravian smiths abandoned their mission a few weeks later.


« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 12:43:10 AM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Robby

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2043
  • Socialist Republic of New York
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2019, 01:07:31 AM »
Thats a pretty cool map!!! never seen it before.
Robby
molon labe
We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution. A. Lincoln

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2019, 01:11:50 AM »
Robby, the book in which this appears has chapters on each of these trails in much more detail--identifying all the stopping places along the way and even explaining how you can follow each path in a car. The book is Paul Wallace, Indian Paths of Pennsylvania.
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Rambling Historian

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 476
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2019, 01:16:47 AM »
Excellent research and reasoning. Good job focusing on the evidence at hand and what it does and does not say rather than what we might want it to say. I take it you are an academic historian based on your work and familiarity with the sources?

EDIT:
I saw your link and your signature and followed it and see that you're a professor in the English department with some particularly interesting research interests.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 01:22:13 AM by Rambling Historian »
"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” -John Adams

*All opinions expressed are mine alone and are not meant to represent any other entity unless otherwise clearly stated.*

Offline Eric Kettenburg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2413
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2019, 01:19:01 AM »
That's really an excellent book and very interesting in many ways.  It's been the 'old standard' for many years.

Now if only we could pinpoint the 'Sign of the Goose' aka the Moravian Cabin...

BTW the Friedenshutten site, currently a corn field and largely ignored, is soon going to be underneath a new LNG trucking facility!

Offline sqrldog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2019, 01:28:59 AM »
So I gather from this RCA 19 could have been made for another indian chief/or not, just not Paxinosa?

Offline Eric Kettenburg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2413
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2019, 01:39:26 AM »
If I can play devils advocate, while the aforementioned information would seem to indicate that the rifle mentioned in the Shamokin diary was not for Paxinosa but rather a different Shawnee, on the other hand, it doesn't preclude Paxinosa having a rifle or other piece stocked by a Moravian as he nevertheless was very well known to them.

In regard to #19, it's probably going to be virtually impossible to *prove* for whom it was stocked lacking a documentable chain of evidence (ie. the type of documentation that 90% exists for William Marshall's rifle - the "griffin" Oerter rifle), but I will once again state what I've stated ad nauseum:  Ernie Cowan's "short rifle" is a very key piece and if someone, using some technology, could definitively prove a signature, you would then almost certainly know the identity of the man who stocked up #19 at the least.

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2019, 01:47:11 AM »
If I can play devils advocate, while the aforementioned information would seem to indicate that the rifle mentioned in the Shamokin diary was not for Paxinosa but rather a different Shawnee, on the other hand, it doesn't preclude Paxinosa having a rifle or other piece stocked by a Moravian as he nevertheless was very well known to them.

Yes, I entirely agree.

RCA 19 or the “short rifle” could  still have been made for Paxinosa. There’s just no evidence that points in that particular direction. Or in any other direction. It could have been for that Shawnee chief from Great Island.

I’d just say, though, that the thing that brought Paxinosa’s name to the table here was that Shamokin diary entry, which was misunderstood to refer to Paxinosa. So I’m not sure what else would link RCA 19 to Paxinosa any more? The panther engraving, if it really refers to the Shawnee, could link it to any Shawnee. Paxinosa himself had no particular association with the panther.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2019, 03:22:04 AM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline rich pierce

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *
  • Posts: 11601
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2019, 03:18:42 AM »
Could have been made for anyone, Shawnee or white, if the link to Paxinosa is broken.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline sqrldog

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2019, 03:24:08 AM »
It is still one of the finest old guns available to study even with the unanswered questions.

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 03:30:43 AM »
Definitely a fantastic rifle and a historically important one. And is fantastic and important no matter who it was made for.
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline DaveM

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 288
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2019, 03:57:57 AM »
Scott, thanks for the additional information.  Part of my confusion was switching modern Wilkes-Barre and Lock Haven from your notes, thinking he was passing through Shamokin on the way home.  Now I can better see what you are describing.  You seem to have this sorted out - great work!

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #19 on: February 22, 2019, 04:08:01 AM »
Not relevant to this discussion--but cool, nonetheless--here's a Moravian travel map showing all the stopping places from Conrad Weiser's in Tulpehocken to Shamokin ("Shemoko").



Original at Moravian Archives.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 02:12:05 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Eric Kettenburg

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2413
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2019, 04:19:10 AM »
BTW should probably make it clear for those looking at maps who are not familiar with PA history that the mission at Shamokin was actually at the site of what is now Sunbury/Shamokin Dam area, basically where the north branch and west branch of the Susquehanna come together as can be seen on the map posted. 

Cool map!

Offline Joe Stein

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 238
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #21 on: February 22, 2019, 07:11:30 AM »
The map book is available from the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission:
https://shoppaheritage.com/collections/frontpage/products/indian-paths-of-pennsylvania  $19.95

Offline Dan Fruth

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 239
    • D Fruth Flintlocker
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #22 on: February 22, 2019, 05:45:20 PM »
I hope this will be appropriate in this post, but I have included a link to a wonderful documentary on David Zeisberger that reveals much of the early Moravian history. Knowing that the Moravian interests in America were not for gun building but evangelizing the native Americans, I see gun stocking for natives as a necessary part of that endeavor, and certainly Paxinosa would have benefited from Albrecht's skills. I totally agree with Eric....Find the maker of "shorty" and  the mystery of #19 will be solved. Finding a tangible link to Paxinosa is something altogether different.

We are non-resistance friend, but ye are standing where I intend to shoot!

Offline Shreckmeister

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3107
  • GGGG Grandpa Schrecengost Gunsmith/Miller
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2019, 01:35:56 PM »
Scott, I would like to thank you for sharing the map of the Tulpehocken Path. I was not aware of its existence until now. You can see the location of the Doppelte Adler on the map where the path crosses today’s Swatara Creek. Doppelte Adler is German for Double Eagle. The kind you see on fraktur. In the period you are discussing, there was a large tree along the creel where the Tulpehocken Path crossed it upon which was carved the Doppelte Adler. Today, someone recreated that carving on a tree near the same location. Some where I have a drawing of the original tree and a picture of the re-creation  I visited the sight in 2015 because it is located on William Penn’s Spread Eagle Manor. The is the Manor upon which Johan Jost Schreckengast and his sons settled their families to farm and gunsmith sometime after 1764. Later, around 1804, the sons moved via the Shamokin Path to Kittanning and continued farming and gunsmithing there.
Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.

Offline spgordon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 660
Re: Albrecht, Paxinosa, Great Island, 1752 and 1754: New Information
« Reply #24 on: February 23, 2019, 01:49:14 PM »
Rob--very cool! I didn't know any of that. There's a "cleaner" copy of that map (which showed the routes of Moravian itinerant preachers)--here's the relevant portion, where you can see all the stops more clearly (including Doppelte Adler):


Original at Moravian Archives.

If I remember correctly, the names of the stopping places are the ones given to those spots by Moravians after Zinzendorf traveled to Shamokin with Conrad Weiser in 1742 (Erdmuth, Benigna, Ludwig, etc.). I don't think that any of those names "stuck"?--so it is interesting that somebody more recently has identified the spot and recreated the tree carving!
« Last Edit: February 23, 2019, 02:11:40 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html